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Half Of U.S. Teens Admit Bullying In Past Year

Half Of U.S. Teens Admit Bullying In Past Year

In an alarming report released this week, half of all high school students admit to bullying someone in the past year, and almost as many say they’ve been the victim of bullying.

“Ethics of American Youth”
asked more than 43,000 high school students around the country whether they had been physically abused, teased or taunted in a way that upset them. Forty-three percent said yes, and 50 percent admitted to doing the bullying.

Bullying Doesn’t Peak At Middle School

The survey was released by the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute of Ethics, whose president, Michael Josephson, said that the study revealed that bullying goes on at later ages than previously thought, and remains prevalent at high school.

Some other findings from the report:
* Bullying is just as common at public and private high schools
* 10 percent of teens admitted bringing a weapon to school at least once
* 16 percent of teens admitted being drunk at school at least once

Tragic Teen Suicides

We’ve reported here on the tragedy of several teen suicides related to bullying that have occurred this year, including the case of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, who took her own life in January, and 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death last month.

The silver lining here is that bullying has jumped to the forefront for many educators, especially with the realization that the Internet has turned bullying into the even more deadly cyberbullying. “It’s the difference between punching someone and stabbing him,” said Josephson. “The wounds are so much deeper.”

Warning From The Obama Administration

In response to this concern, the U.S. Department of Education last Tuesday sent letters to schools, colleges and universities around the country, advising them that failing to adequately address ethnic, sexual or gender-based harassment could put them in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.

Well, that’s at least a start.

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56 comments

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8:33PM PDT on Oct 24, 2011

Sad. Something has to be done to help our children become more kind and empathetic.

2:05PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

There should be zero tolerance for bullying. At the same time parents must step up and teach empathy in the home.

10:52AM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

I make fun of people who want to marry dogs, write smut with fictional 8 year olds and wish to have sex with their mom/dad/brother/sister

am I bad?

10:48AM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

I make fun of people who want to marry dogs, write smut with fictional 8 year olds and wish to have sex with their mom/dad/brother/sister

am I bad?

10:41PM PST on Nov 8, 2010

I think more people need to grow up, really. Way back when, yeah, sure, bullies were here, and they were bad, but, communities, schools, neighborhoods, etc came together and confronted the bully, and when that didn't work, the bullies and their families were pretty much ostracized and ended up leaving, and it kept going until they learned that being a bully doesn't pay.

The more lax we get, the more empathy the bully gets, and well, even if there are reasons for it, sometimes it's a learned behavior, and the parents are just as bad.

Some schools will also look over it at certain times, where they figure some students either deserve it or need to learn to stick up for themselves. so then, those students are allowed to be bullied, and it's not right. It's time to ban together again against this type of abuse.

Lets face it. Bullying in any form is abusive.

9:10PM PST on Nov 8, 2010

I think that it is overlooked at the schools first, that is where it starts and that is where it should stop!!! There should be a zero tolerance at schools when it comes to bullying. You cannot tell me that they do not notice it, they turn a blind eye to it and let it go. I do believe that it also goes on at home too and should be taught not to be done there also. Our children are running amuck with no disipline at all. I am seeing things that I have never seen before from kids that their parents allow today that would not have been tolerated when I was growing up....

7:06AM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

As a mom of a 3rd grade girl, I agree with Wendy O. - it starts very early and I really think that parents and teachers are often reluctant to recognize it as the beginning of something more sinister. It's important to actively teach our children about compassion, kindness and tolerance but to also teach them to stick up for themselves and others and resolve conflict in a calm and rational manner. It's not an easy balance to communicate, especially when other parents seem to be more concerned about bringing up "strong" and "assertive" daughters or exhibiting aggressive, "me first" behavior that their children model.

3:59AM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

Kids in kindergarten show signs of bullying behavior towards others. It is critical to start there and not wait because they are just little kids. Even if they may not "know" what they are doing, they can certainly learn that it is wrong. I have been in education for 34 years and I can say, "I told you so." I saw this coming and have been reprimanded for speaking out. Bullying is a crime and should be treated as such no matter what age. Excepting parents' excuses and allowing them to run the schools' social agenda needs to stop.

7:42AM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

The reason bullying is so prevalent is because adults are NOT stepping in and reprimanding the bully. People, no matter what their age, will always do something that is wrong if they can get away with it, and if they are not called on it. It's up to parents,and/or those in any kind of authority to reprimand the bullies, the insensitive jerks or those who lack empathy, on their behaviour.

10:27PM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

We cannot blame our children from being bullies as they learn it from the parents in the home and the nation via television when they are constantly bombarded with bullies in the police, military and government and big business when they deal with innocent people. Abu graib, Gitmo, vietnam, bosnia and many other incidents that have not been made public are just a few that come to mind. So I say when the parents fix themselves then we will see better children.

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